Obesity is a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infected patients to develop respiratory failure. Leptin produced in visceral fat might play a role in the deterioration to mechanical ventilation. A cross sectional study was performed. The mean BMI was 31 kg/m2 (range 24.8-48.4) for the 31 SARS-CoV-2 ventilated patients and 26 kg/m2 (range 22.4-33.5) for 8 critically ill non-infected control patients. SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with a similar BMI as control patients appear to have significantly higher levels of serum leptin. The mean leptin level was 21.2 (6.0-85.2) vs 5.6 (2.4-8.2) ug/L for SARS-CoV-2 and controls respectively (p = 0.0007). With these findings we describe a clinical and biological framework that may explain these clinical observations. The ACE2 utilization by the virus leads to local pulmonary inflammation due to ACE2-ATII disbalance. This might be enhanced by an increase in leptin production induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection of visceral fat. Leptin receptors in the lungs are now more activated to enhance local pulmonary inflammation. This adds to the pre-existent chronic inflammation in obese patients. Visceral fat, lung tissue and leptin production play an interconnecting role. This insight can lead the way to further research and treatment.